Approximately 2,100 delegates from around the world are descending on the Palais des congrès in Montreal today to open the week-long 2016 Civil Aviation Week conference, hosted by Airports Council International (ACI).
The conference will take place at the same time as the 39th triennial Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the annual conference of ACI-North America and ACI World.
At 6:00 p.m. today, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft promises to make a “major environmental declaration” regarding their C Series aircraft, followed by a Q&A with senior management.
The ACI Conference opening was attended Monday morning by the Director General of ACI World, Angela Gittens; the President and CEO of ACI-North America, Kevin Burke; the Mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre; and the Québec Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Martin Coiteux.
“Civil aviation is a strong economic lever for Montréal,” said mayor Denis Coderre. “In addition to bringing together several world leaders representing the aeronautics and aerospace industries, Montréal is home to a number of high-profile international organizations involved in civil aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, International Air Transport Association, Airports Council International and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations.”
Quebec is the third largest aerospace cluster in the world, generating $15.5 billion in sales in 2015, with a base of 177 SMEs and regional operations for international manufacturers, such as Airbus subsidiary Stelia Aerospace and Belgian wing panel maker Sonaca, not to mention home grown Bombardier.
About 70% of Canadian research and development aerospace activities are carried out in Quebec, and over 80% of Quebec’s production is exported internationally.
The conference will also see the official launch of Concordia University’s Aviation Think Tank, whose external advisory board will be chaired by former Director General & CEO of IATA and former President and CEO of Air Canada, Pierre Jeanniot.
“Concordia has created a neutral platform — the first of its kind in the world – to provide a forum for industry experts, researchers and academics to collaborate and weigh in on the most important issues facing the aviation sector,” said Jeanniot. “The knowledge and ideas generated will promote forward-thinking policies, best practices and key actions to help set the pace in a complex arena.”
On Saturday, Aéro Montréal, a think tank that promotes the interests of the Montreal region’s aerospace sector, will host an Open House at the École de Technologie Supérieure, with two lectures on the environment and sustainable development in aviation and aerospace.
During that Open House, aerospace students from the École de Technologie Supérieure will participate in a “Dragon’s Den”-style pitch session, organized by Aéro Montréal.
On October 3 at Place des Arts, to finish the conference, a Bell International Leaders lecture on the future of green aircraft technology will be delivered by Bertrand Piccard, the Swiss pilot of the Solar Impulse, which completed its 40,000 kilometre journey around the world on June 25.
“Hosting a speaker of Bertrand Piccard’s calibre is a great way to mark the first edition of Montréal Civil Aviation Week,” Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The aerospace industry provides tens of thousands of high-quality jobs in the metropolitan area, and it also creates wealth and contributes to the development of a knowledge- and innovation-based economy. The presence of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and world leaders such as Bombardier and Pratt & Whitney make Montréal a leading light on the international scene as a high-tech city in the field of aviation.”